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Killing the Death Penalty
Posted By Eric Sammons On April 23, 2009 @ 4:07 pm In The Church | Comments Disabled
The Colorado House recently voted to repeal the death penalty in that state, and Denver Archbishop Chaput was influential in getting the repeal passed . This follows the repeal of the death penalty in New Mexico which also was due to the influence of the Church on politicians (in that case, governor Bill Richardson, who was thanked by the Pope for his actions ).
For years I supported the use of the death penalty, but about five years ago I changed my mind. I now do not think the death penalty should be legal in the United States. The teachings of Pope John Paul II were very influential to my “conversion,” along with discussions with my wife. The primary reason for changing my mind was being disturbed by the similarity in the arguments defending legalized abortion and defending the death penalty. In both cases, “practical” concerns are used to justify the killing of a human being.
But let me be clear: I am not saying that there is a moral equivalence between abortion and the death penalty. The Church has always condemned in no uncertain terms the killing of unborn children (contrary to what Nancy Pelosi might say), yet it has, consistent with Scripture, allowed governments the use of the death penalty if needed. I just don’t believe it is needed in our country today, and in fact I believe its use is detrimental.
In a society which devalues the sanctity of human life as much as ours, I believe the death penalty does far more harm than good. Yes, having the death penalty might prevent some future crime (but I’m not convinced that this is the case). But having the death penalty always promotes the idea that we can solve our problems by killing people – an idea that has been the justification of many evils in our world today. By striving to find other ways to punish (and hopefully reform) criminals we are witnessing to the dignity of each human being created in the image of God.
God bless Archbishop Chaput and all those working to end the death penalty in this country.
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URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/04/23/killing-the-death-penalty/
URLs in this post:
 Denver Archbishop Chaput was influential in getting the repeal passed: http://durangoherald.com/sections/News/2009/04/22/House_votes_to_repeal_death_penalty/
 who was thanked by the Pope for his actions: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0901704.htm
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